Driving in the local area
Heading north from the village and following the single track, winding coastal road you will pass through the crofting townships of Clachtoll, Drumbeg, Nedd and Stoer heading towards Kylesku. As you progress along the coastal route towards Kylesku a side road leads to Achmelvich where a clean white sandy beach awaits. There are further beautiful beaches at Clachtoll and Clashnessie. From the Drumbeg viewpoint the Handa Island bird Reserve can be observed which is operated by The Scottish Wildlife Trust. Arriving at Kylesku you cannot fail to notice the impressive, majestic new road bridge, which has featured in some Automotive advertisments in the recent past. During the summer from here you can take a 2hr boat cruise down the loch to the Eas-Coul-Aulin waterfall which has a fall of about 600ft – 200m Britains tallest waterfall.
Take the road South out of the village (leading up the river Culag) and you will soon be in Inverkirkaig home of the Kirkaig falls which are a spectacular sight after heavy rain. Continuing along this route will eventually bring you out near Stac Pollaidh or Achiltibuie renowned for its fabulous views of the Summer Isles to the South West.
The peaceful beaches at Clashnessie, Clachtoll and Achmelvich (all between 3 and 6 miles from here) are perfect for a family day out, these unspoilt, beautiful sandy beaches are surrounded by marvellous rock formations - don't forget your body board. Add to your enjoyment with a visit to the Clachtoll salmon bothy and the remains of a 1st century broch not to mention the impressive split rock.
If you're a bird watcher then the diversity of habitats to explore both underfoot and overhead are magnificent.
Whilst you are out and about you could well catch sight of swallows, stonechats, warblers, wagtails, bunting and wheat-ears, curlews, cormorant, plover, greylag geese, black and red throated divers, sandpiper, heron, willow warbler, wren, redpoll, redwing and the screeching oystercatchers. When it comes to birds of prey then keep your eyes peeled for, golden eagle, peregrine falcon and occasionally ospreys. And whilst looking up at the cliff faces then guillemot, razorbill and puffins and possibly the magnificent sea eagle should be visible with patience.
During the summer season (weather permitting) catch the ferry just north of Scourie and sail to Handa island where over 200,000 seabirds come to breed. Guillemots, razorbills, puffins and great skuas fill the skies above Torridonian sandstone cliffs. There are also trips around the island by rib allowing you to observe the sea cliffs from a different perspective.
Wherever you travel in Scotland there are a vast number of magnificent courses available to play, ranging from Gleneagles and St Andrews – internationally renowned Championship courses – to less well known courses that are amongst the most scenic and beautiful in the world. In our locality we have a choice of two excellent courses to play, Durness to the north - the most northerly course on British mainland and Ullapool to the South.
Assynt Visitor Centre
The best place to start your planning for your leisure time and the base for the local Countryside Ranger. Here you can find out about the many guided walks, events, entertainment and children's activities available locally. There are many information leaflets for you to take away on the local history, geology, archaeology, wildlife and all about the trails around the Geopark. There are also on-site activities for children including a touch table and telescope.
Knockan Crag Visitor Centre
Lots to do here including exploring the turf-roofed rock room, finding out more about general geology and the make up of the local Geopark area. You can take your pick from the three way marked trails and have the opportunity to bridge over 500 million years with your bare hands. Drive the rock route and at each marked viewpoint there are information tables to enhance the magnificent views with information about the story of the Earth and its formation.
Inchnadamph National Nature Reserve and the Bone Caves
Walk along a dry riverbed at Traligill to visit the Alt na Uamh Bone Caves at Inchnadamph a series of caves, tunnels and underground streams all offering exciting discoveries for explorers. In the Bone Caves archaeologists found human remains dating back 4500 years along with bone fragments from brown bear, lynx, arctic fox and hundreds of pairs of reindeer antlers bones - animals all long extinct in Scotland.
Loch Assynt, Ardvreck Castle, Calda House and Inchnadamph Church
Ancient stronghold of the MacLeods of Assynt and lately of the MacKenzies, Ardvreck Castle and Calda House stand on the shores of Loch Assynt with the mountain Quinag rising 808m to the north. The MacKensies built Calda House in 1726 but both it and Ardvreck Castle was destroyed by fire in the 18th century. A few miles away is Inchnadamph, where the former Assynt Parish Church has been restored after lying empty for 30 years, this houses a display of the history of Ardvreck Castle, Calda House and the Church itself. In the graveyard you will find the burial vault of the MacLeods of Assynt.
Old Man of Stoer
About 7 miles from Lochinver you will find The Old Man of Stoer. This impressive pinnacle of sandstone rock stands just off the coast and can be accessed only on foot. The walk starts from the Stoer lighthouse car park and follows the cliff top path. This is an ideal place to spot whales and dolphins not to mention the multitude of seabirds nestling on the rock face.
Just 3 miles from Lochinver you will find Inverkirkaig here you can head up a beautiful wooded glen alongside the Kirkaig river to the moorland above - here you will find the spectacular Kirkaig falls. In July and August you may see the salmon leaping in the gorge below as you head to the waterfalls. If you feel up to it, just a little further on you will arrive at Loch Fionn which lies at the foot of Suilven – an impressive sight any time of the year. Achins Book & Coffee Shop is well worth visiting on your way back to the village.
This 40 hectare community woodland is located behind Lochinver. There are a series of paths running through this mixed woodland and you can choose to follow the sculpture trail or one or other of the marked trails. From the paths, pine martens and herons can often be spotted up in the trees and once down on the white shore there is a good chance of spotting otters.
Loch a Mhuilinn - National Nature reserve
Found just south of Scourie, this reserve clinging to its narrow coastal fringe, can be visited at any time of the year. It contains rocky knolls, scattered lochs and windswept woodland. The reserve is well known for having the most northerly oakwood in Britain but it should be celebrated for the wealth of wildlife that its managed status supports. There is an all abilities track leading to the heart of the reserve flanked by dragonflies and water lilies in the summer months.
With workshops and outlets in Lochinver and Ullapool you should make time to visit Highland Stoneware. When on site you can wander around and observe the mixing of clays and glazes right through to watching the artists applying the individual designs. Outside there are some whacky mosaics to look at, and be photographed around, and as a bonus it is free to go round the factory but a donation to the charity bucket is always welcomed.
Scourie Wildlife Cruises
Exhilarating wildlife and sightseeing trips on one of two rigid hull inflatable boats (RIB's). Experience first hand the spectacle of over 200,000 seabirds on the towering cliffs of Handa Island, or visit a colony of grey seals among the Badcall Islands in Eddrachilles Bay. Take in the breathtaking unspoilt coastal scenery of this area, where dolphins, whales and basking sharks are also occasionally encountered.
Kylesku Boat Tours and Safaris
Operated from Kylesku which is about 17 miles north of Lochinver. Here you can take a 1.5 hour boat trip, travelling around the inland sea-loch called Loch GlenCoul. On the cruise en-route to Eas Coul Aulin the highest waterfall in the UK, measuring in at 658ft you can absorb the surrounding countryside and abundant wildlife, certainly a trip well worth taking. Additionally by prior arrangement you can book a Geology Cruise, a Sea Safari, Badcall Island Cruise or even an Evening Mackrel Fishing Trip.
Fly Fishing and Tuition
Whether you are a beginner or expert fisher, Stewart at Assynt Fly Fishing can enhance your fly-fishing experience in the scenic rivers and lochs. Stewart is qualified as a UKCC Level 2 Angling Coach as well as a SML mountain guide. You can rest assured that you will be in safe hands and learn a great deal during your time spent with Assynt Fly Fishing. For the more experienced angler, Stewart's 30+ years of experience on the waters of Assynt will be invaluable in your quest for that ultimate fishing experience.